Friday, February 12, 2010

Ellen T. Crenshaw

Ellen Crenshaw is a smart and talented young illustrator living in Boston, MA. Her work is usually very lighthearted and tells character-driven stories through illustration. In this series of six paintings for the Teeny Tiny Art Show, Ellen pushes the content of her work in a new direction, experimenting with something decidedly not lighthearted...

The series is inspired by British theater troupe Punchdrunk's performance of Sleep No More, an interpretation of Macbeth. " I twist Shakespeare's words in my own way and play with how I can depict them visually. I have focused on Lady Macbeth, who I found to be the most complex character, and the Witches, whose visions seduced Lady Macbeth with promises of absolute power.

In this series I play with color as an indicator of mood with dynamic lighting to heighten drama and create a visual hierarchy. As a lover of animation, I also employ a sense of motion in my illustrations, capturing action so that the characters appear to have life beyond the page. Through the use of costuming and character design I address Lady Macbeth's emotional transformation, from temptation to wickedness to remorse, as well as subtly illustrate the convoluted gender roles discussed throughout Shakespeare's play.

I have an interest and empathy for people which translates into a love of great characters. My art depicts those characters to whom I relate and in my illustration I intend to create a relatable scene for the viewer. I want my artwork to be consumable by everyone, so most importantly, I want the viewer to be entertained by a good story."

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